What’s Clouding your Vision: 4 Cloud Computing Vulnerabilities to Watch Out for in 2021

By Krystal Rennie / Adlumin, Inc.

Cloud computing has changed the cybersecurity industry in many ways. For starters, it has made the digital world more convenient through availability, the scope of data, and interconnective capabilities. However, as with all things, with more freedom come more responsibility. As more businesses begin using cloud computing, new security concerns will follow. With easy access to data, hackers study cloud technology systems, identify the flaws, and launch their attacks accordingly.

In this blog, we will explore four key security risks of cloud technology, according to CSOonline:

  1. Account Hijacking: As phishing attempts continue to rise, account hijacking—the risk of cybercriminals gaining access to high privilege accounts and taking over—is at an all-time high. As mentioned in the CSOonline article, “once an attacker can enter the system using a legitimate account, they can cause a great deal of disruption, including theft or destruction of important data, halting service delivery, or financial fraud. CSA recommends educating users on the dangers and signs of account hijacking to minimize the risk.” Having all your data in the cloud is convenient, but the risks for theft and cyberattacks are much more significant. 
  1. Data Breaches: The world’s biggest cyber threat leaves no stone unturned. With cloud computing, there is an optimal opportunity for breaches to occur as internet-accessible data is often the most vulnerable to both misconfiguration and exploration. It is advised that your organization implement response plans and security software to assist with cloud protection and data breach prevention.
  1. Insider Threats: When it comes to the source of cyber threats, your first thought is most likely external. Did you ever think that trusted insiders like employees, business partners, or customers could be potential threats to your organization? Would you prioritize cloud security then? According to Techjury, “The cost of insider threats (related to credential theft) for organizations in 2020 [was] $2.79 million.” As more users gain access to your cloud-based data, the risk of human error significantly increases as well. Your organization should provide proper training and security education to all employees, business partners, or anyone with direct access to your cloud data.
  1. Limited Cloud Visibility: Often, the cloud environment can make security professionals blind to most of the data needed to detect, monitor, and prevent malicious activity. CSOonline breaks down this vulnerability into two separate sections:

Unsanctioned apps are “essentially shadow IT—applications employees use without permission or support of IT or security. Any app that does not meet corporate guidelines for security represents a risk that the security team might be unaware of.”

Sanctioned apps, which the “misuse might be an authorized person using an approved app or an external threat actor using stolen credentials.”

The best way to combat limited visibility within your cloud is to invest in a third-party risk management platform. You can ensure that data protection is airtight by continuously monitoring your environment and regulating your network activities.

Protect your Cloud

Whether threats are internal or external, the cloud is a perfect target for intruders because once access is gained, all data is fair game. The four vulnerabilities listed above are just a few of many red flags to look for in the cyberworld. Without proper knowledge and tools for managing your cloud technology, a business cannot operate at the same standard. As your cybersecurity strategy evolves, implementing cloud computing will help ensure that risks do not outweigh rewards.